Students at Rogue Community College are on edge tonight after learning about an alleged rape that occured on campus right in the middle of the day.
Police said they got the report around 4:30 Thursday afternoon. Lieutenant Mike Budreau said the suspect, 33 year old Juan Ramirez, met the victim walking around downtown Medford. The two walked to Rogue Community College's urban campus for cigarettes. Police said after entering building B the suspect started fondling the woman in the lobby without her consent. She went into the bathroom to get away. Police said he followed her in, locked the door, and that's where he raped and sodomized the 24 year old woman. Police have dealt with Ramirez in the past. He is a registered sex offender.
"She may have been looking for friendship or a companion or just somebody to talk to. I think he was looking to sexually assault her as soon as he had a chance," Budreau said.
After the assault Ramirez allowed the victim to leave. She called her friend who called police.
"For this to happen in the middle of downtown Medford where there's people all around it is rather concerning and it's strange," Budreau said.
Neither Ramirez or the victim are students at RCC. Margaret Bradford, Director of Marketing and Recruitment, said they are devastated by what happened. The campus is equipped with security cameras and does have a security guard patrolling the area. But since the campus is open to the public it is hard to monitor who comes and goes.
"It's a challenge, and we're very upset about this," Bradford said.
She also said the school is trying to notify faculty members and students about the incident.
"We hope students will be alert and watch out for each other," Bradford said.
Ramirez's bail is set for 5 million dollars. But that's not much to ease the nerves of students.
Sophomore Katelyn Casebier said staying safe at school is something she thinks about. She avoids night classes and carries pepper spray. She was freaked out by what happened, but wasn't surprised.
"There are some dangerous people in this area," Casebier said.